AKTION! Art and Revolution in Germany, 1918-19

Ahmanson Building, Level 2
July 25, 2015–January 10, 2016

Bringing together posters, prints, rare books, and periodicals, AKTION! Art and Revolution in Germany, 1918–19 illuminates the central role played by the graphic arts in the civil war that erupted in Germany at the end of World War I. An oft-forgotten episode in Germany’s tumultuous history, the civil war was a violent power struggle to determine the shape of the new republic, punctuated by two failed workers’ uprisings and the state-ordered assassination of communist leaders Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht.

Battles fought on the street also raged in the world of images, where art functioned not just as an illustration of political positions, but also as an active agent for social change, especially in the deft hands of artists such as Max Pechstein and Käthe Kollwitz. Highlighting a number of artists who were still working in a dramatic Expressionist style at the precise moment that the avant-garde turned to new modes of realism, this presentation from the permanent collection offers a prequel to the equally turbulent chapter of interwar history explored in New Objectivity: Modern German Art in the Weimar Republic, 1919–1933.

This exhibition is included in General Admission. 
Join now and see it free, or reserve a ticket.


Image: Freiheit (Freedom), Constantin von Mitschke-Collande, 1919, from the portfolio Der begeisterte Weg (The inspired way), 1919, photo © Museum Associates/LACMA.